Albert III, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg
|Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg|
16th century depiction
|Elector of Saxony|
|Spouse(s)||Euphemia of Oels|
|Noble family||House of Ascania|
|Father||Wenceslaus I, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg|
|Mother||Cecilia of Carrara|
|Died||before 12 November 1422
Albert III (German: Albrecht III.; c. 1375/1380 – before 12 November 1422) was the last Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg and Elector of Saxony from the House of Ascania. After his death, King Sigismund ceded his duchy and the Saxon electoral dignity to Margrave Frederick IV of Meissen from the House of Wettin.
He first appeared in written documents in 1407. When his elder brother, Elector Rudolf III was poisoned in 1419, Albert took over the rule of Saxe-Wittenberg. Also known as "Albert the Poor", he inherited a land exhausted by the War of the Lüneburg Succession and Rudolf's long-time feud with the Archbishops of Magdeburg. With an empty state purse, he he could scarcely afford any servants and led a very lonely life.
In order to generate some income, he controversially imposed the right to charge stall taxes on markets in the town of Wittenberg in 1421. He got into such conflict with the citizens that it almost led to an armed clash, as this right had belonged to the town for generations. Finally the Hohenzollern elector Frederick of Brandenburg was called in to referee the dispute. He decided that the behaviour of the townsfolk to their lord was inappropriate, but supported their market rights on condition that an apology was tendered to Albert.
In the third year of his reign the prince-elector died as a result of an accidental fire in a farmhouse on the Lochau Heath near Annaburg, where he was overnighting with his wife during a hunt. The fire came so close to them that he and his wife, dressed only in nightshirts had to be rescued through a window. Several of his servants died in the flames.
The prince-elector was so shocked by this incident that he died a few days later in Wittenberg. He was buried in the Franciscan chapel there. With his death, the Ascanian rule in Saxe-Wittenberg came to an end.
|Ancestors of Albert III, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg|
Albert III, Duke of Saxe-WittenbergBorn: c. 1375/1380 Died: before 12 November 1422
|Elector of Saxony